I survived a hurricane

Yup, apparently I did - without even knowing it.

The Cape is famous for its South-Easterly wind that dominates summer. Yesterday it was going great guns, and last night it reached gale force. By the time we went to bed the antennas on the roof were singing a three-part harmony, the windows were rattling and there was a vague sound of roof tiles lifting ever so slightly.

The dog's water dish disappeared in the night - I know not where, as other lighter things are still around. One or two heavy objects took flight ... and then at 5 this morning the entire Helderberg Basin was woken up by an almighty crash of thunder and blinding flash of lightning! Of course my first thought was "which high site / antenna / server has been taken out???" - and Favourite Man jumped out of bed to check our e-monitoring system for evidence. Sjoe, all still running right across the network, except for one machine in the house that seems to have had a heart-attack and restarted itself with a pathetic beep.

They call this a "Black South-Easter". Tumbling dark clouds sent spattering down over the mountains as the wind roars. It doesn't usually rain on this wind, but last night it hailed. And rained huge drops that sounded like bucket-loads as each fell.

Today Cape Town picked up the damage and counted the cost. One girl killed near here in a "trailer park" where huge trees came crashing down on caravans and houses. Various bits of vegetation blown hither and yon. Signs on the highway face-down. The neighbour's satellite dish examining the wall... Yet strangely enough some things untouched, like the cloth advertising banner covering the side of a building near one of our access points that usually blows away at the least provocation!

And it seems that last night's storm officially classified as a hurricane. Winds of 120km/hr are right up there on the international scale of such things.

Yup, we survived it. Tonight the storm has blown itself out, the wind died down, and we can open the windows once more. Take a deep breath until the next bout with the South Easter....